Communicating Change to Employees
The video discusses effective ways of communicating change to employees and tips to improve communication during the change process. The speaker argues that change aversion can be overcome with good communication. She adds that the secret to effectively communicating change is understanding that change is a process and it requires time to implement. Therefore, it is vital to focus on the transition process and milestones to be achieved throughout the change process (RinkComms, 2010). The speaker also states that it is crucial to understand how employees will feel about a change because employees view change as a type of loss. Thus, change communication should focus on how the change will benefit employees so that they can embrace the change (RinkComms, 2010).
Additionally, the speaker provides tips that can be used to communicate change effectively. The first tip is to communicate early and often because employees expect to hear what is going on to avoid getting nervous. The second tip is to focus the communication on the “why” and not the “how.” The speaker states that it is essential to consider why the company is making a change and why it is necessary, how things will change, and how it affects the employees. The third tip is being flexible and creative to adjust the communication strategy based on employee behavior and the situation in the organization. The fourth tip is finding ways to exploit rumors. The speaker states that effectively communicating change requires seeking out false and misleading information and confronting it directly to eliminate rumors. The fifth tip is realizing that employees are just looking for a way to distrust communication. The speaker suggests that leaders should keep everything in their communication credible and avoid overpromising as change begins.
The leadership video connects to the course by outlining the role of communication in the change process. Both the video and course content suggest that effective communication is the foundation of effective implementation of change. The course content and the leadership video also argue that inappropriate change communication techniques are usually the leading causes of employee resistance to change. According to Dawson & Andriopoulos (2017), effectively communicating change can reduce uncertainty and clarify the direction of change. It also fosters a perception of fair sharing of information.
Moreover, the leadership video and the course content agree that leaders should focus on how the change affects the employees to reduce resistance. The impact of the change could either be positive or negative, and employees are likely to resist the change if it affects them negatively. The leadership video and course content suggests that leaders need to weigh the impact of the change on employees and the benefit the change yields for the company to determine the most effective way to communicate the change and avoid resistance. Employees need to stay emotionally engaged throughout the change process by being given a sense of ownership. A sense of ownership can only be achieved through effective communication that offers the correct information through the appropriate medium. The leadership video and course content also suggests that leaders should tailor communication to employees based on the intended response by focusing on the message’s most appropriate structure, tone, and content. It is also essential to consider the choice of words because words play a vital role in influencing the perception of change and demonstrate whether the organization is only interested in the change or whether it also cares about the welfare of the employees.
One of the lessons I learned from the leadership video is that communication dictates whether employees resist or embrace change. It is thus vital to take time to plan on how the change will be communicated by choosing the suitable communication medium, structure, and tone. The second lesson was that leaders need to make employees understand that change is a continuous process that cannot be completed overnight so that they can be patient and wait until the entire process is complete. In most instances, employees may resist change because they do not clearly understand how it benefits them and the organization, which is why it is vital to ensure that they remain patient until the change is implemented (Bull et al., 2012). The third lesson is that rumors may create a negative perception of a change, especially if they contain misleading and false information. Therefore, leaders have to listen to what employees are saying about a change to clarify any unclear information and avoid the spread of false and misleading information.
The third lesson is that effective communication during the change process includes transparency. Leaders should ensure that they provide clear information, including information that could spur resistance to the change, such as communicating the negative impacts of the change on employees. Leaders need to ensure that the negative consequences are communicated with the right words to convince employees to embrace the change for the organization’s good (Bull et al., 2012). I also learned that anticipating how the employees will react to the change is vital in planning how to communicate the change. It also enables the leader to anticipate employees’ questions and the most effective answers that do not spur resistance.
Bull, M., & Brown, T. (2012). Implementing change. Facilities Change Management, 108-122. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781119967316.ch8
Dawson, P., & Andriopoulos, C. (2017). Managing change, creativity, and innovation. SAGE.
RinkComms. (2010). How to Communicate Change to Your Employees [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=
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Summary section of leadership video / minimum 1 page;
Application section of how the leadership video connected to the course content / minimum 1 page;
Reflection section of what lesson you learned from the leadership video / minimum 1 page;